Master of Science in Sustainability Management alum, Jaclyn Bouchard (’14) came into the program with an academic background in biology and energy management and professional experience working for sustainability-focused startup companies. The analytical and collaborative skills that Jaclyn acquired from the program propelled her to become the Manager of Corporate Responsibility at McGraw Hill Financial, one of the leading companies in credit ratings, benchmarks, and analytics. Jaclyn hopes to continue the McGraw Hill Financial’s efficiency projects and initiatives through her position.
1. What is your current job?
I am the Manager of Corporate Responsibility at McGraw Hill Financial, a leading high-growth, high-margin benchmarks, content and analytics company, which serves the capital and commodity markets. McGraw Hill Financial is home to some of the most iconic brands in finance and business, including: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, and J.D. Power.
2. Do your current job responsibilities align with the professional goals that you originally had when you began the MSSM program?
Yes! Coming from working for a few sustainability-focused start-ups, I began the program wanting to manage a large corporation’s corporate responsibility (CR) and its sustainability programs and currently, that is exactly what I am doing. My role encompasses work within all three of the main ESG (environmental, social and governance) areas of corporate responsibility. I am an integral part of promoting the company’s transparency and raising awareness among stakeholders of how embedded CR is in the operations of our company and the way business is run.
3. What skills has the MSSM program taught you that you think have proven useful to your current position?
The MSSM program equipped me with many of the skills that I use in my current position. The knowledge of industry’s best practices, as well as the ability to analyze and recommend corporate responsibility, sustainability initiatives and opportunities for a company, have been crucial in my success as a CR manager.
4. What skills and tools do you hope to acquire through this job?
My position allows me to continuously add to my core capabilities learned through the MSSM program by being immersed in CR and by learning and integrating the latest practices of the industry. Also, working in CR every day will hopefully allow me to better articulate the big picture of CR, as well as the issues specific to the financial services industry.
5. How has collaborating with your fellow students in class projects benefitted you professionally and personally?
Working collaboratively in the MSSM program taught me how to adapt to situations for group projects, where others may utilize different methods for working. It also gave me a chance to work with people from many different industries, which is common even in the workplace.
6. What kinds of environmental initiatives have been taken in your new position?
One component of my role at McGraw Hill Financial is managing our global network of office Green Teams. I hope to continue engaging and growing this network of sustainability-minded colleagues, who take on various local office efficiency projects and initiatives. I have also helped in setting new environmental performance targets for our company, which further drives our commitment to decreasing our environmental footprint.
7. How do you intend to utilize your degree from the MSSM program to further your career?
The alumni network at Columbia is very strong, promoting cross-collaboration even after graduation from the program. This network and the various resources that the Earth Institute and School of Continuing Education offer, create a great platform for continuous growth and opportunity.
The M.S. in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. The program requires the successful completion of 36 credit points. Those credit points are divided among five comprehensive content areas: integrative sustainability management, economics and quantitative analysis, the physical dimensions of sustainability, the public policy environment of sustainability management, and general and financial management. Visit our website to learn more.